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Nonprofit health insurers Health Alliance Plan and HealthPlus of Michigan said Friday they plan to merge.
The organizations jointly announced an exclusive, nonbinding letter of intent to merge Flint, Michigan-based HealthPlus into Detroit-based Health Alliance Plan operations.
The organizations are now “in an intense period of due diligence” and plan to reach an agreement in the near future, according to the statement.
A spokeswoman for Health Alliance Plan said Friday it was too early in the process to know the terms of the deal.
Health Alliance Plan currently has a health plan membership of 680,000, the spokeswoman said. HealthPlus' total membership is 120,000, according to a company spokeswoman.
In September, HealthPlus also sold its Medicaid and MIChild businesses to Molina Healthcare of Michigan. MIChild is a program for uninsured children of Michigan's working families, according to HealthPlus' website.
“We believe by combining our strengths we will achieve greater value and stability in the Mid-Michigan region for our members, employer groups, labor and providers,” Health Alliance Plan president and CEO James Connelly said in the statement. “We're two Michigan-based, not-for-profit health companies with a demonstrated history of outstanding customer service that has improved the health and well-being of our communities for many years.”
“A partnership with HAP gives HealthPlus the opportunity to provide its members and the communities it serves an even higher level of quality and service through access to HAP's state-of-the art technology solutions, its commitment to improved outcomes and continued financial stability,” HealthPlus president and CEO Dr. Michael Genord said in the statement. "Furthermore, both HealthPlus and HAP have the same rich history of strong labor ties, including employee representation and significant labor membership.”
Medicare Advantage is the obvious prize Aetna Inc. has been eyeing in its acquisition of Humana Inc. But Aetna also hopes to create a health services division with Humana's other assets.